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How Stickers Help Wide-Format Printers Pivot Fast

There are good reasons to keep stickers top of mind, even in the pandemic’s wake.

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BUSINESSES WORLDWIDE HAVE had to adapt to a crisis during the past 18 months, and those that pivoted the fastest thrived while those that could not adjust have suffered or even closed down. We’ve watched entrepreneurs switch to a delivery model, offices switch to telecommuting, and entire companies just change their production. At the height of the pandemic, manufacturers who’d never made an article of clothing started making masks, while breweries and distilleries began bottling hand sanitizer. When looking to change branding fast, a business leader needs a tool they can grab quickly, use any way they like, and put away when things return to normal – or when whatever the new flavor of normal sets in. They need stickers.

Stickers provide a level of versatility otherwise unknown in larger physical signage. Printable at any size, shape, and quantity, they can be made to adhere securely to any surface and to weather significant wear and tear. Advancements in sticker materials allow them to be as safe on the inner wall of a store as they are on the side of a truck in bad weather. Rather than replace existing signage during a crisis-driven shift in business direction, simply print a large sticker to stick over the existing asset. Either replace the sign entirely or set a sticker over the words or images that need to change, which can look entirely seamless or pop slightly from the original sign for a fun effect.

One great thing about stickers is their flexibility, and how well they can adapt to rapidly changing demands. As many businesses had to switch to producing masks through the pandemic, they needed to update and replace their signage accordingly. In many cases, large stickers (often referred to as wall or window decals) could be used to replace signage entirely and temporarily announce the business’s new direction. Meanwhile, breweries transitioning to producing hand sanitizer could use stickers to replace certain words or phrases, or just add a symbol that reads, “Now producing hand sanitizer for the pandemic.” But as conditions have changed to recovery, these businesses have all been able to either get new stickers that represent their return to business as usual, or that describe how they are adjusting even further. As the status of the pandemic fluctuates, it takes another easily printed round of stickers to announce a return to lockdown business models.

For many wide-format printers, adjusting a business model to print larger stickers and decals may be the exact sort of pivot necessary to thrive during a crisis. Likewise, graphic designers who work in wide-format printing could do a great business creating stickers for companies to use in new or temporary signage. Many of these designs would also be usable by companies as smaller stickers on their other tools and assets, making such work potentially very profitable in a time when many companies are changing their focus. As businesses shift to the pandemic and recovery market, graphic designers can shift with them to provide new branding materials in sticker form.

The pandemic recovery has been a slow and sometimes arduous process, and even if COVID-19 goes away overnight, some of the changes it brought about are going to become permanent parts of life. Many workers do not want to return to the office, and many restaurants that expanded their business through takeout will not drop that option now. Likewise, many businesses will want to keep using stickers for signage and branding, and the wise wide-format printer and designer should keep stickers in mind as a reliable source of revenue moving forward.

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Andrew Witkin is the founder and CEO of StickerYou, a global ecommerce leader in custom-printed, die-cut products that empowers consumers and businesses to create high-quality materials for personal expression, marketing, and packaging.

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